Monster of the Week: Young Kraken

young kraken
The fearsome young kraken

Raw tentacled fury of the sea, the young kraken lives in the nightmares of those who dare to travel through the ocean…

The Mighty Kraken…. Baby?

This Monster of The Week even has Brittany Spears singing (“Oh, baby, baby“). That’s right -we’re going to discuss the Kraken’s adorable equivalent: the Young Kraken. For me, the first mental images that it conjures up are of squishy, slimy little Nemos, unable to defend themselves from a harsh world. If you’re in the same boat (boat, ha), you might’ve forgotten that this segment is titled Monster of The Week.

So why are we focusing on a weaker version of it’s elder counterpart?

If you don’t want to wipe out your lower level (even mid-level) adventuring party, this little guy is more than a cute marketable version of the terrifying ruler of the deep, they’re a potential long-term BBEG who grows in power with them. Where the fully grown Kraken is an extremely intelligent and ancient eldritch nightmare, their young are powerful foes that are not nigh impossible to defeat (and slightly less tremble-worthy) – as well as prone to plotting vengeance.

Is This Where “Whipper Snapper” Comes From?

Even in infancy, it is capable of comprehending information at the average intelligence level of, say, those who enjoy edgy adult cartoons (adult swim, anyone?). While not as large as their mature counterparts, they’re still much larger than the largest Owlbear. Krakens are also known for being extremely evil. The Young Kraken is no different. One might hope that being an independent and highly intelligent creature, it might rebel against its elder brethren and start a movement pushing against the traditionalist evils of Kraken-kind; maybe be intelligent enough to see the importance of a better society with equality for minorities and higher minimum wage?

Unfortunately, the Young Kraken isn’t capable of actual revolutionary alignment change – nor speech (makes holiday meals with old Uncle Kraken, much easier). They are, however, capable of telepathy within a 120ft radius. They even have the ability to breathe in and outside of water (so there’s still the option of opening yet another a big corporate chain store on the corner).

Kraken as deadly adults or inexperienced youth can execute their schemes on both land and water. The adults are more likely to attack directly when their schemes are uncovered, while young Krakens will retreat and nurse their wounds until an opportunity for revenge appears. Remember, they’re long-lived. They may wait years or decades after they’ve been thwarted to come after your adventuring party.  

Who would you like to see on a future Monster of The Week post? Comment below, and if you haven’t done so already check out our other tweets for more information on NeverEnding’s upcoming animation platform!

Check out our last Monster of the Week post here

Monster of the Week: Nightwalker

Don’t let its beautiful baby smooth skin fool you, the Nightwalker takes no prisoners. 

Nightwalker
NeverEnding’s Nightwalker

What is a nightwalker?

This week we’re kicking off Monster Of The Week with a more well-known creature of the night – and the living embodiment of death itself. Nightwalkers appear to be comprised of shadow, but these colossal humanoid-shaped terrors are actually undead. And they’ll stop at nothing to eliminate your players.

Where do nightwalkers come from?

There’s much more to their origin than there is for the typical shambling undead. Nightwalkers are born from a failed ritual created by those who try to inhabit powers of the Negative Energy plane. You can think of the Negative Energy plane as a sort of alternate dimension where almost no living creature can safely travel. Why? Because it contains such high amounts of (living? dead? hungry? all of the above?) darkness. Think of Stephen Hawking’s description of Black Holes, but instead of going through the fun that is spaghettification you’ll just slowly shrivel into cold dusty shadow, as all hope, light, and laughter drains away. The plane of existence where Nightwalkers originate is a sinister plane indeed. Nightwalkers fall under the evil alignment. Allegedly, Nightwalkers consist of the same shadowy darkness as the negative energy plane. Being undead, they have no problem surviving this dread domain.

Did we mention, they’re really, really big? Despite their 20 ft stature, Nightwalkers are capable of hiding from the players’ sight by camouflaging into darker environments such as fallow farm fields, dark forests, and the abandoned backlot of Disney’s Hollywood Studios… *gulp*.

anyway…

Ok, so just like the nightmares I still have about that backlot tour, the Nightwalker is capable of stunning its prey within a 30 ft radius by using their evil gaze. They become literally paralyzed with fear. Fear isn’t their only weapon. Like many evil beings in real life, Nightwalkers are extremely charismatic. Because they have such high charisma, they’re extremely capable of intimidating players without having to flex a muscle. Although a large part of that has to do with the Nightwalker’s physical stature, it’s fear of the unknown that you want to emphasize to keep your players sweating. Or you can just focus on the fear of a gigantic malevolent creature that harnesses the powers of the Negative Energy plane. That works too.

So who’s your candidate for a Monster of The Week?

check out last week’s monster of the week

Monster of the Week: The Singing Tree

The Singing Tree
NeverEnding’s version of The Singing Tree

Is it a monster? Is it a plant? No, The Singing Tree is both!

We’re kicking off our first-ever Monster of The Week post with a fairly unusual choice: The Singing Tree. If you’re thinking “what a silly choice to start with,” then golly, we’ve lulled you into a sense of false expectation – much like this week’s botanical abomination. 

Reminiscent of Randy Newman’s character the Singing Bush seen in the 80s classic The Three Amigos, they call it the singing tree because each one of its leaves emits a high pitched sound. If all leaves play together, they sound like a calming harmonic choir that’ll put even the most frenzied woodland critter to slumber. That is the point after all. But this sleep isn’t restful or kind. The Singing Tree relies on the blood of its victims to replenish itself. Similar to how the roots of a normal tree pull in nutrients and support microbes for decomposition, the Singing Tree just wants to include you in the circle of life by draining you of all your blood and nutrients. It plays calming lullaby to soothe its prey into napping beside it. If, for example, Mr. Squirrel (my OC for this post) were to take a nap by the singing tree, he’d become a raisin in no time as the tree drinks up all his juicy goodness and covers him in leaves. Despite its lack of sentience and inability to feel paranoia, the tree will still slowly coat a body in leaves to hide it from sight. This way future prey are not alerted by the sight of Mr. Squirrel’s untimely demise, preserving this beautiful tree’s friendly facade. Death is natural (even your character’s death), so the Singing Tree is not considered an inherently evil creature; it’s alignment falls under the neutral category. 

The Singing Tree can be domesticated, but because it’s bloodthirsty (literally) the odds of it going feral run high. They tend to live in areas distant from civilization, and primarily thrive off of those hapless enough to stumble close. If kept hungry for extended periods of time, the Tree will stop at nothing to consume the nearest creature. Unfortunately, the Tree doesn’t have much in the way of defending itself if attacked. It dies like any normal tree if treated roughly. 

One more fun anecdote worth mentioning is that Singing Trees cannot live in a pack, since they rely on chance encounters as their primary food source.

I can only imagine how different the film Three Amigos would’ve been if Randy Newman had been a Singing Tree. Perhaps a 2020s gritty reboot could be centered on this new concept!

Is there a monster that you’d like to see discussed in the next Monster Of The Week? Feel free to write us in the comments below!